Let’s be honest, very few people like change and often time the more senior someone is, the more they dislike change. We as humans get used to the status quo and then dislike any major changes. This is not unique to the airline industry. Many people including bloggers, travelers & employees were rallied up when American Airline refreshed their brand image and livery in January 2013. Within minutes people from all over were complaining that it wasn’t original, the new image removed the eagle, it looked like other flag carrier’s livery, such as Air France or Cubana; and the complaints went on and people are still bickering. I personally will admit that the new livery grew on me, and I am very happy with both the modern eagle & retro tail, yet honestly my opinion doesn’t matter! There have been rumors that Doug Parker, the New American’s CEO, is not a fan of the new livery and had plans to change it after the merger is complete. This is partially true, but not completely. It turns out Doug Parker is allowing the company to vote on which livery they prefer for the new American Airlines.
Employees are now voting and can cast their vote until January 2, 2014 to help American Airlines executive committee decide if they want to keep the New American livery and stripped tail or revert back to the older and more traditional AA tail. Yet either way, the gray planes with the modern eagle beak is here to stay as American has already painted over 200 planes and refreshed airport signs and advertisements around the world.
Doug Parker reminds employees in a letter that a brand refresh is not feasible due to the high costs and does not keep in line with returning invest to stockholders. Furthermore he actually pushes the new livery and steers employees’ votes from the traditional tail as he claims that returning to the traditional tail is not ideal for the new AA as it will create an airline with two logos.
“Our livery should represent the American brand well – it should be professional, and it should be cost efficient-but it is not a make-or-break decision for our airline…The problem with this design is that it contains two different logos – the old AA and the new flight symbol, but if our team members decide they would like to keep AA on the tail of our airplanes, we will manage just fine.”
In addition to painting over 600 existing US Airways aircrafts to match American’s current jets, the airline announced that US Airways retro livery jets, aka heritage airline aircrafts, are here to stay. Meaning the Piedmont Airline, American West, and Pacific Southwest Airline planes are here to stay and the airline will expand to include a US Airways and TWA liveried aircraft.